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School of Education announces 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award

June 15, 2017

The School of Education is proud to present the Distinguished Alumni Award to Mary Brownell who earned her Ph.D. in 1990 under the guidance of Professor Don Deshler in the Department of Special Education.

Brownell is a Professor of Special Education at the University of Florida (UF) and Director of the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR Center), an OSEP funded project designed to improve the preparation of teachers and leaders working with students with disabilities. Dean Rick Ginsberg says, “Mary Brownell is one of the most distinguished scholars studying special education in the United States. Her work at the CEEDAR Center is driving change in the training of teachers to be highly effective in general and special education classrooms and attuned to the educational, emotional, and social needs of all children. The School of Education is proud to collaborate with Dr. Brownell, The University of Florida, and other partners in the essential work of the CEEDAR Center.”

Brownell has secured multiple grants (totaling over 42 million dollars) from the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE), Office of Special Education Programs and Institute for Education Sciences to support research and technical assistance aimed at improving teaching quality for students with disabilities. Specifically, she has studied issues related to teacher education, teacher assessment, professional development, and teacher attrition.

Brownell has been recognized nationally for her leadership and research, winning the TED Pearson Award for Excellence in Teacher Education, the Division for Research Hallahan and Kauffman Distinguished Researcher Award, and the David Imig Teacher Achievement Award for lifetime achievement in teacher education. 

Addendum: Mary Brownell received the award at the School of Education Convocation, May 13, 2017. 

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The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
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